- any of several plants of the genus Helleborus, of the buttercup family, having basal leaves and clusters of flowers, especially H. niger, the Christmas rose.
- any of various plants of the genus Veratrum.Compare false hellebore.
- any of several poisonous or medicinal substances obtained from these plants.
Origin of hellebore
Examples from the Web for hellebore
But she does not go unprovided; she has hellebore at the bottom of the cup.Essays, Second Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
She needs six grains of hellebore, Monsieur; her brain is turned.Amphitryon
It has received the immedicable wound; no hellebore can cure it.Thirty Years' View (Vol. I of 2)
Thomas Hart Benton
Some cause violent pain, as colchicum, hellebore, and aconite.The Swiss Family Robinson
Johann David Wyss
He knew his own defect; and purposed going through a course of hellebore.The Caesars
Thomas de Quincey
- any plant of the Eurasian ranunculaceous genus Helleborus, esp H. niger (black hellebore), typically having showy flowers and poisonous partsSee also Christmas rose
- any of various liliaceous plants of the N temperate genus Veratrum, esp V. album, that have greenish flowers and yield alkaloids used in the treatment of heart disease
Word Origin and History for hellebore
late 14c., from Old French ellebore, from Latin elleborus, from Greek helleboros, perhaps meaning "plant eaten by fawns," from Greek ellos/hellos "fawn" + bora "food of beasts," from bibroskein "to eat," from PIE root *gwere- "to swallow." Among the ancients, the name given to various plants of both poisonous and medicinal qualities, reputed to cure madness.